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25,000 still without power in DFW

FORT WORTH -- About 25,000 customers were without power at 5 p.m. Friday, which is half the number reported at noon.

Still, some people might not get power back until late Saturday or early Sunday, said Carol Peters, spokeswoman for Oncor Electric Delivery.

"It was a devastating storm system," Peters said. "We lost miles of lines and six transmission towers were blown down in the Metroplex."

An estimated 250,000 customers were without power Wednesday and Thursday in Oncor's entire system, Peters said.

Included were Breckenridge, which was hit hard by tornadoes Wednesday, and parts of East Texas damaged by the same storms that rolled over North Texas early Thursday, Peters said.

The number of customers affected in the Metroplex reached 175,000 at the peak of the storms, 6 a.m. Thursday, Peters said.

"There was a huge hit in Tarrant County, which was a higher percentage than Dallas County," Peters said, "but I don't have that figure."

She said people with special needs might have to make arrangements to get through the weekend, such as staying in a motel or with friends.

Peters also noted that many people don't report outages because they assume the utility company automatically knows about them.

"We can't respond if they haven't called," Peters said.

To report an outage, call the electric provider's outage number which is listed on the electric bill and be prepared to give your electric service identification (EIS) number, which are also printed on the bill.

People without power Friday were understandably frustrated. Among them was Ronnie Roach, who lives on Comal Street in White Settlement. He said he was concerned about storing his insulin, which he takes for diabetes. He said that he had called Oncor repeatedly.

"When the bill is late, they'll come out here and cut you off in five minutes," he said, "but in times like this, they tell us it's an act of nature and they can't do anything about that.

"They got electricity in Iraq, haven't they?"

Peters said 4,000 people are working to restore power.

"We urge people to be patient," she said. "We're working as fast as we can."